Apple Unveils New MacBook Air and Refreshed MacBook Pro with M2 Chip

Apple M2 Hero Approved

Apple has officially unveiled its first Macs powered by the next generation of Apple silicon at the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC). The new devices include a redesigned MacBook Air and 13-inch MacBook Pro with the new M2 chipset.

According to Apple, the latest M2 processor comes with a new eight-core CPU, an up to ten-core GPU, as well as up to 24GB of unified memory.

“Built using second-generation 5-nanometer technology, M2 takes the industry-leading performance per watt of M1 even further with an 18 percent faster CPU, a 35 percent more powerful GPU, and a 40 percent faster Neural Engine.1 It also delivers 50 percent more memory bandwidth compared to M1, and up to 24GB of fast unified memory,” Apple said in a press release.

Apple’s redesigned MacBook Air is the first device to ship with the new M2 processor, and it is available in Silver, Starlight, Space Gray, and Midnight color options. The company promises 18 percent faster CPU performance, 35 percent better video editing performance, and 50 percent more memory bandwidth than the previous M1 model.

Just like the previous M1 variant, the newest MacBook Air uses a fanless design and delivers up to 18 hours of battery life. The device retains its limited set of ports, including two USB-C ports and a 3.5mm headphone jack. The only big difference is the inclusion of the MagSafe port for charging on the M2 version, but users can also use the USB-C ports for charging. It also supports a Fast Charge capability that can provide 50 percent battery in just 30 minutes.

Apple Unveils New MacBook Air and Refreshed MacBook Pro with New M2 Chip

Lastly, Apple has also slightly increased the MacBook Air display size from 13 inches to 13.6 inches. The new 2560 x 1660 Liquid Retina display supports up to 1 billion colors and is up to 25 percent brighter as compared to its predecessor. In addition, the M2 MacBook Air features a notch with a 1080p FaceTime HD camera that provides better performance in low-light conditions. The laptop comes with a three-mic array and four-speaker setup with support for Spatial Audio.

Apple launches new 13.3-inch MacBook Pro

In addition to the refreshed MacBook Air, Apple is launching a new 13-inch MacBook Pro model using the same M2 chip but with ten GPU cores on all models. The company claims that its new MacBook Pro is 39 percent faster in image processing and gaming than its predecessor. Apple also touts that its new MacBook Pro is the “most portable pro notebook” with up to 20 hours of battery life.

13-inch MacBook Pro with M2

The overall design remains the same, including a Touch Bar as well as the 13.3-inch display with a P3 wide color & 500 nits of brightness. Additionally, the MacBook Pro features an active cooling system that enables the M2 processor to maintain its maximum power for more extended periods.

The new 13-inch MacBook Pro and MacBook Air are available for pre-order today, and both units will begin shipping in July 2022. The base MacBook Air model with 256 GB of storage is priced at $1,199 ($1,099 for education). However, the M1 MacBook Air that was launched back in 2020 is still available at $999. The M2-powered MacBook Pro models start at $1,299 ($1,199 for education customers).

Apple announces macOS Ventura with new productivity features

Apple also unveiled yesterday the next major version of its macOS operating system, macOS Ventura, which is coming later this Fall. The biggest highlight included in this release is a new multitasking interface called Stage Manager. It allows users to move one of their windows to the center of the screen and arrange all other open apps on the left side.

There is also a new Continuity Camera feature that enables users to use their iPhones as a webcam on Mac machines. Other improvements include Spotlight improvements, Handoff support for FaceTime, and much more. macOS Ventura is compatible with iMac (2017 and later), iMac Pro (2017), Mac Pro (2019 and later), Mac Mini (2018 and later), Mac Studio (2022), MacBook Pro (2017 and later), MacBook Air (2018 and later), and MacBook (2017 and later).

In addition to macOS Ventura, Apple also announced iOS 16, iPadOS 16, and watchOS 9 yesterday, and these updates are currently available in beta for developers.